James Joyce: Commentary (13)


File 13
 


Bruce Stewart, ‘Another Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce and the Envoy’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 93, 370 (Summer 2004) - notice by “Sadbh” [Caroline Walsh, Lit. Ed.] in The Irish Times (q.d.): ‘A fascinating episode in the long story of Ireland’s reaction to James Joyce is analysed in the current issue of Studies. In an essay by Bruce Stewart called Another Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce and the Envoy, the focus is on a volume called A Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce by the Irish (1970), edited by man of letters and publican John Ryan, and including articles by Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and others which they had contributed to a James Joyce special issue of Envoy, which Ryan had published in 1951. / Stewart says that apart from isolated enthusiasms in that issue of Envoy and its sequel, the pieces represented a moment when the expropriation of Joyce’s Dublin triggered apoplectic irritation on the part of its living literary denizens. They simply carped, he adds, giving a flavour of what was said at the time. “It remains a pity that they did not seek in Joyce’s works an explanation for their own confusions at the same time as they berated transatlantic Joyceans for their inevitable failings,” Stewart concludes.’

Alistair Cormack (1955) to Frank Shovlin (2012)
Alistair Cormack
Heather Ingman
Fintan O’Toole
Marilyn Reizbaum
Sean Latham
Michael Groden
J. W. Foster
Lidia Vianu
Frank Callanan
Bernice Martin
Colm Tóibín
John McCourt
Clare Hutton
Gordon Bowker
Antonio Carlos
Frank Shovlin

The Beaugency Files: Commentators on The Cat and the Devil
Janet E. Lewis
Marie-Dominique Garnier
Amanda Sigler
Marcelo Amorim
Ilaria Natali
Annalisa Sezzi
   

See also

Enrico Terrinoni, ‘One of Many Plots: Joyce in Some Dublin Libraries’, in Joyce Studies in Italy, ed. John McCourt (Edizioni Roma 2015), pp.213-26 - infra.


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Alistair Cormack, Yeats and Joyce: Cyclical History and the Reprobate Tradition (Aldershot: Aldgate 2008), Chap. 2 - “Giambattista Vico and Idealist History” - sect. 1: “Yeats and Joyce Reading Vico”: ‘Bergin and Fisch suggest that Joyce “read and digested digested Vico in Trieste about 1905 ...” [See T. G. Bergin & M. H. Fisch, trans., The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico (Ithaca 1944), Introduction, p.97.] The first reference ot the Neapolitan philosopher in Ellmann’s biography is dated 1913. Ellmann also notes Joyce’s familiarity with Croce’s Estetica, which has a long chapter on Vico and, it has been argued, is based on Vico throughout. Joyce read Vico in the original Italian and - apart from the Estetica, which was published in 1902 - under little external influence. [Ellmann, James Joyce, rev. edn. 1982, p.340.] / Joyce discussed the Neapolitan philosopher with Paolo Cuzzi, one of his Triestino students, arguing tha “Freud had been anticipated by Vico”. It is interesting to note that this first recorded comment by Joyce on Vico is so similar to his last, which was an answer to the question of whether he believed in The New Science: “I don’t believe in any science ... but my imagination grows when I read Vico as it doesn’t when I read Freud or Jung. [Ellmann, 693; and note: Ellmann cites an interview with Tom Kristensen in 1956.] / Of course, Joyce’s interest in Vico did not reach its height until he came to write Finnegans Wake. [...]” (Cormack, p.23.) Quotes Padraic Colum’s remembered phrase ‘I use his cycles as a trellis’ in respect of the use of Vico’s New Science in Finnegans Wake [Ellmann, 1982, p.554; Colum, Our Friend James Joyce, 1958, p.123] (Cormack, p.24).

[Note: Cormack adds that Joyce borrows the terminology of heroism for his bildungsroman [i.e., Stephen Hero] from Vico and cites Hazard Adams, The Philosophy of the Literary Symbolic, Tallahasee 1983; Cormack, p.23n.]

Alistair Cormack (Yeats and Joyce: Cyclical History and the Reprobate Tradition, 2008) -cont.: ‘The play of autobiography and cultural memory - of micro and macrocosm - is at the heart of Joyce’s appropriation of Vico. We have already noted that Joyce used Vico quite early in his career and it seems that he theorised his own artistic and personal development using a version of Vico’s account of historical progress through successive ages of gods, heroes and men. In a sense, this appropriation and personalisation of the theories reflects Vico’s epistemology, which equates the known with the made. [Also notes that Joyce’s habit of self-description - which follows Mr. Duffy’s ‘odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself in the third person with a predicate in the past tense’ - in turn reflects Vico’s practice in the third-person Autobiography - and remarks: ‘Joyce’s repeated fictionalisation of his former selves forces a Vichian structure into his writing: he [24] finds his origin in fear of thunder, his former selves as monstrous and cyclopean and his final acts of writing the self as an ironic practice of citation.’ (Cormack, p.24-25.)

Further: Cormack quotes Samuel Beckett writing of Vico’s debt to Bruno, ‘he takes very good care not to say so.’ (Exag., p.21); cites Beckett’s answer to Joyce’s question whether a history of Idealism is possible as: ‘A history of representations’; and quotes Beckett again to explain the difference between Vico’s conception of signs as imaginative ideas attached to the physical apprehension of the world [the referent] and the term ‘symbol’ in Pierce which have only ‘arbitrary relationship[’] to their referent; ‘an endless verbal germination, maturation, putrefaction, the cyclic dynamism of the intermediate.’ Also cites Hayden White, ’The Tropics of History: The Deep Structure of the New Science’, in The Tropics of Discourse (Baltimore 1978).

Alistair Cormack (Yeats and Joyce: Cyclical History and the Reprobate Tradition, 2008): “Joyce, Yeats and the Hermetic Tradition” [chap.]: ‘When Joyce has Stephen read Yeats’s fiction in Stephen Hero, the response is certainly not ridicule [...] We know that Joyce had a soft spot for these stories from his comments in “The Day of the Rabblement”. In the passage quoted above [viz., “Their speeches were like the enigmas of a disdainful Jesus ... having chosen to fulfil the law of their own being.”] they seem to offer an alaternative tradition to which he can attach his earlier self; one characterised by heresy - or a celebration of the “outlaws” of the spirit. / Although this admission of a taste for Yeats’s heretics did not survive the journey from Stephen Hero to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the defence of a new outlaw replaces it. [Goes on to discuss Joyce and Bruno in A Portrait and The Day of the Rabblement and cites Frances Yates (Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition) and Ellmann’s ‘canonical assessment’ that Joyce did not respond to the Hermetic side of Bruno.] Whereas the Hermetic enthusiasms of Yeats cannot be explained away [41] and are thus transformed into symptoms, in the case of Joyce, who never had any interest in magical ritual, a taste for the “tradition” can be more quietly excused.’ (pp.41-42.) [See longer extracts in RICORSO Library > Criticism > Major Authors - via index or as attached; see also under W. B. Yeats, as infra.]

[Note: In “Joyce, Yeats and the Hermetic Tradition” [being Chap. 3 of Yeats and Joyce], Cormack remarks: ‘Interestingly, Joyce anticipated Foster's approach to Theosophy [under Yeats - as attached], commenting to Stanislaus that it offered a spurious religiosity to disaffected Protestants.’ (Cormack, op. cit., p.40, citing Ellmann, James Joyce rev. edn. 1982, p.99 [as supra].)

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Heather Ingman, A History of the Irish Short Story (Cambridge UP 2009): according to Anne Fogarty, reviewing, Ingman argues that Joyce’s “The Dead” is subtly read not just as an attempt to outdo George Moore’s naturalism or to break loose from Irish cultural nationalism but as an implicit engagement with Yeats’s portrayal of mystical states in The Secret Rose. (See The Irish Times, 19 Sept. 2009, Weekend, p.11.)

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Fintan O’Toole, ‘How Darwin Helped Shape Irish Writing’, in The Irish Times (21 Feb. 2009), Weekend Review, p.8. ‘[...] In James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist, Stephen Daedalus opposes his own neo-Thomist views on beauty to the “drearier” notions of sexual selection proposed by Darwin. In Ulysses, Darwin is mocked. There is some speculation that the unprepossessing Costello is “the missing link of creation’s chain desiderated by the late ingenious Mr. Darwin”. / Cited as tongue-in-cheek proof of Leopold Bloom’s youthful rectitude is the fact that, during “nocturnal perambulations”, he had “advocated ... the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin”. / Joyce’s writing, with its attempt to control the randonness of evolution within an aesthetic framework, is typical of the deep strain of Irish literature dedicated to opposing the shaping power of the imagination to Darwin’s terrifying emphasis on accident.’ (See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Reviews”, via index, or direct.)

[See also O’Toole’s review of Gordon Bowker’s 2012 biography of Joyce, making reference to Joyce’s cult of martyrdom and particularly his self-comparison with Jesus and with Giordano Bruno:

‘Joyce himself helped to create this narrative [of the martyr]. His great booster, Ezra Pound, called him “James Jayzuz,” and linked him with the dead Irish nationalists Patrick Pearse and Terence MacSwiney as having “the same mania for martyrdom”: “it is the Christian attitude; they want to drive an idea into people by getting crucified ... . I think Joyce has got this quirk for being the noble victim.” Bernard Shaw sent Pound a postcard of José de Ribera’s painting The Dead Christ, asking, of Joyce: “Isn’t it like him?” Joyce referred to himself - mostly in jest - as “Melancholy Jesus” and “Crooked Jesus” - names his great supporters and publishers, Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier, used in their private conversations about him. In Finnegans Wake, Joyce refers to a semi-authorized biography by Herbert Gorman, which Joyce himself did much to shape, as “the Martyrology of Gorman” - typically a pun: the same title also refers to a twelfth-century calendar of saints. Richard Ellmann, in his own monumental biography, notes that “without saying so to Gorman directly, [Joyce] made clear that he was to be treated as a saint with an unusually protracted martyrdom.”’
See longer extract under O’Toole > Quotations, infra; or see the original at The New York Review of Books - online.

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Marilyn Reizbaum, James Joyce’s Judaic Other (Stanford UP 2009): ‘Ellmann, among others, documented Jewish prototypes of Bloom as Alfred H. Hunter of Dublin, Italo Sveno (Ettore Schmitz) and Teodore Mayer [ed. of Piccolo della Sera] of Trieste, and Ottocaro Weiss of Zurich. [...]’ (pp.22-23.) [See longer extract on this topic under James Joyce > Notes > Joyce’s People - infra.] Further: ‘Svevo is reported to have said to Stanislaus Joyce - “tell me some secrets about Irishmen. You know your brother has been asking me so many questions about Jews that I want to get even with him.” Joyce would have found in Svevo the kind of modern Jew who would complement his vision of the Jew he wished to create in Bloom. Svevo seemed to instantiate the “degenerate” artist figure as described by Nordau or even, as Ralph Robert Joly has argued, to draw on, however parodically, the “psychobiological” theory of Weininger (“Jewish Elements”, 13). Reizbaum notes that Amalia Popper’s father’s first name was Leopoldo - she who along with several other women such as Martha Fleischman, Joyce ‘mistakenly thought to be Jewish [and who] represented for him an idea of the exotic, a quality of otherness in women that he briefly explores in the Dubliners stories such as “Araby” and “Counterparts”. [...] ‘In Zurich Joyce also knew many assimilated Jews [...] Victor Sax, Rudolph Goldschmidt, and especially Otto Weiss. [.../] Joyce continued to befriend Jews in Paris such as Paul Leon, who worked with Joyce on the Wake manuscript, and it is clear that Jewish acquaintances, subjects and reading material were a part of the Joyce household.[...] Joyce’s affinity seems to have been so great that [25] to his (and my own) amusement and dismay, the Swiss police in 1939 refused him entry into Switzerland on the grounds that he was Jewish (Letters, 3, p.491.) [For Contents listing, see under Joyce > Criticism > Contents - supra or as attached.

Sean Latham, Introduction: ‘Joyce’s Modernities’, in James Joyce, ed. Latham [Visions & Revisions Ser.] (Dublin & Portland: IAP 2010), pp.1-18: ‘[...] We may, in fact, have become too comfortable with Joyce as a modernist writer, comfortably attributing the complex challenges his texts present to the deliberate difficulty of their form. Rich analytical insights have unquestionably been produced by linking Joyce to other formally innovative writers of the early twentieth century, ranging from Wyndham Lewis and T. S. Eliot to Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf. As a card-carrying member of what Hugh Kenner famously calls “a supranational movement called International Modernism” Joyce has become familiar to us as an experimental writer engaged in an attempt to challenge the prevailing codes of realism by inventing new modes of literary and linguistic representation. The problem with treating Joyce simply as a modernist, however, is that such a moniker now provides a convenient way of bypassing the very real challenges his work presents to us, allowing us lazily to chalk them up to the contingent concerns of a now rapidly receding place and time. Indeed, the fact that we now depend so heavily on lengthy annotations and even critical introductions (like this very book) suggests that Joyce’s modernism no longer has much connection to our own modern moment. That is, we can attribute those places where the texts become particularly opaque to the widening gap between Joyce’s poverty-stricken, “semi-colonial” Dublin and the wealthy, cosmopolitan capital of today’s Irish Republic. Joyce’s modernism thus becomes increasingly isolated from the very concept of [3] modernity itself, his work preserved in the mummifying amber of literary canonization. / Salvaging Joyce’s works from mere aesthetic difficulty requires us to position them instead at the intersection of discordant, competing and often contradictory modernities - including our own.’ (pp.3-4.) [For extracts from sundry essays in the collection, see RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors”, via index, or direct.]

Michael Groden [q.t.], in James Joyce, ed. Sean Latham [Visions & Revisions Ser.] (Dublin & Portland: IAP 2010): ‘Starting with “Cyclops”, each episode seems to be written as if it is the start of a new novel; in “Ulysses” in Progress I argue that Joyce did not start working on Ulysses with a plan to use a new technique in each episode in the last half of the book, but rather eventually felt that he had exhausted the possibilities of his original method and began experimenting with other ways of telling his story.’ (p.119.) Further: ‘While the Little Review was serializing Ulysses, Joyce worked quite consistently and submitted the new episodes with impressive regularity [...] Significantly, as I wrote in “Ulysses” in Progress, once Joyce was freed from Little Review deadlines, the episodes started taking more and more time to writer, and they grew increasingly elaborate. More recently, scholars have argued that Joyce reacted to the declaration of obscenity by emphasizing the schematic elements as a way of evading the censor and by encouraging critics such as Valery Larbaud and Stuart Gilbert to interpret Ulysses through the schema rather than through the possibly obscene thoughts and actions of its characters [vide Paul Vanderham, James Joyce and Censorship: the Trials of Ulysses, Macmillan 1998] and that Joyce added the courtroom scenes and legal terminology and even the ‘legal interrogation technique of “Ithaca” [vide David Weir, ‘What Did He Know, and When Did He Know It’, in JJQ, 37, 2000) in response to the Little Review trial.[’] (p.124.) Quotes FW: ‘Wipe your glosses with what you know’ (403 n.3) and equates it with ‘wipe your asses (... &c.)’, remarking: ‘Joyce’s note points to the notorious lack of guide posts in Ulysses, since if you have to produce your glosses you are to a large extent on your own both in terms of what you undestand and how you respond. For many readers, this is a major part of Ulysses’ ultimate triumph.’ (p.135.)

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J. W. Foster, Irish Novels 1890-1940 (Oxford UP 2008): ‘[...] prose fiction of the Revival was a diverse mingling of the traditional (i.e., what purported to be distinctively Irish) and the experimental, the latter being a reworking of the former. Conscious reaction against the revival came in the form of realism, spear-headed by anti-heroic and anti-romantic short stories written by George Moore and James Joyce - both lapsed Catholics - and continued in the fiction of Daniel Corkery, Brinsley MacNamara, and Gerald O’Donovan. Joyce’s later fiction developed under the auspices of an international modernism which he was helping to create, though at times it could suggest affinities with an odd kind of Irish modernism developed on the mythopoeic finges of the Revival by James Stephens, Eimar O’Duffy, and even Padraic Colum.’ (p.4.)

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Lidia Vianu, ‘Eliot’s Hidden Agenda: Joyce?’, in The European English Messenger, 19.1 (2010), pp.43-46: ‘[...] I used to think Eliot was lucky to have been a poet, because it takes half an hour to read The Waste Land [...] while it takes a lifetime to finish Joyce’s Ulysses. [...] What changed my mind was a look at Eliot’s Ulysses, Order, and Myth (1922). He makes two significant statements there. First, when talking about “classicism”, he focusses on ‘those who have won their own discipline in secret and without aid’. He means himself, of course. Any act of writing is a discipline and a kind of order, a discipline and an order that depend on each individual writer. The same as with the objective correlative, with this sentence Eliot discovered America. [...] Eliot claims to be defending Joyce. He invokes a classical discipline to be acquired ‘in secret’ by a selected few (’only those’, he says). He praises Joyce for all the wrong reasons. He extols his “mythical method” of ordering the text. Actually, the farthest thing from Joyce’s mind was order. As a matter of fact, if anything, he was very keen on putting down to paper the very soul of disorder. [...; 44] / As if his idea of classicism had not been devious enough, Eliot added to it a few ridiculously self-assured words: ‘the novel is a form which will no longer serve’, it “ended with Flaubert and with James”. [...] Eliot’s hidden statement had, in fact, something to do with the fact that Joyce also wrote poetry, made use of poetic techniques in his Ulysses, and was more resourceful with words than Eliot, but he did not stop there. He used poetry as a narrative tool, he made it a vehicle for the story. I wonder if Eliot ever forgave him that.’ (&c.; for full text version, see RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors > Joyce”, via index, or direct.)

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Frank Callanan, ‘Why Joyce, the “bohemian aesthete”, was also a political controversialist’, in The Irish Times (22 Jan. 2011), Weekend Sect. ‘[...] I came upon two lists of books in Arthur Griffith’s United Irishman for suggested use in Irish rural libraries: the issue of March 7th, 1903, contained a list of books in English; there followed a list of Irish-language texts in that of April 4th, 1903. On the off chance that these might bear some relation to Joyce’s lists, I photocopied them and folded them away. I made my way some months ago to the manuscript room of the National Library to compare the photocopies with the digital scans of the lists in the Paris-Pola notebook. Joyce had transcribed virtually all of the first United Irishman list and selected some of the titles from the second.’ [Gives an account of Joyce’s review of the Poems of Griffith’s associate William Rooney which includes a reference to T. H. Rolleston.] ‘The intrinsic significance of Joyce’s transcription of the two United Irishman lists will be a subject of debate. Its extrinsic significance is the proof it affords that Joyce was reading the United Irishman at the time he was in Paris and that he was not drawn to the paper solely by reason of its political content. It bears out the recollection of Joyce’s brother Stanislaus that Joyce had declared that “the United Irishman was the only paper in Dublin worth reading, and in fact he read it every week”.’ [Cont.]

Frank Callanan (‘Why Joyce [was...] a political controversialist’, in The Irish Times, 22 Jan. 2011) - cont.: ‘Contextualising the hugely provocative reference to Rolleston reinstates a lost Joyce, between University College and exile, casually expert in, and engaged with, contemporary Irish political and cultural controversy, and shifts the conventional biographical paradigm of the Joyce of 1902-04 as a somewhat dissolute bohemian aesthete. [...] Joyce’s rendering down of the second United Irishman list makes clear that, although he had no interest in revivalism or contemporary writing in Irish, he had a considerable interest in the older works in the Irish language, principally the Irish myths, lives of saints and poetry, together with Geoffrey Keating’s History of Ireland, the Annals of the Four Masters and The Ancient Laws of Ireland. The lists written out laboriously in the notebook in Paris reflect a scoping exercise on Joyce’s part, a sizing-up and textual mapping of the subject of Ireland. [...] Griffith’s United Irishman was extremely important for Joyce, and left its mark on Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. His reading of the paper in Paris set the practice for the first decade of exile from October 1904, when the paper and its successor from 1906, Sinn Féin, sent from Dublin, became his main continuous journalistic source of intelligence on contemporary Ireland. [...]’ (See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors > Joyce”, via index, or direct.)

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Bernice Martin, review of Pericles Lewis, Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel (Cambridge UP 2011), in Times Literary Supplement (22 April 2011): ‘Lewis had the inspired notion of lining up five canonical modernist novelists - Henry James, Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce - with their contemporaries who laid the social-scientific foundations of secularization theory - William James, Emile Durkheim, Sigmund Freud and Max Weber - underlining their common intel­lectual influences. Each chapter focuses on a matched pair: the James brothers, Henry and William, brought up in a Swedenborgian household in New England; the Frenchmen, Proust and his fellow Dreyfusard, Durkheim; the twin Central European virtuosi of the unconscious, Kafka and Freud; and, more surprisingly, Woolf, the Bloomsbury aesthete, and Weber, the prophet of the “disenchantment of the world”. Joyce, the ex- and anti-Catholic Irishman, has no social-scientific alter ego, but is paired instead with the devout Dante in a final chapter that pulls the threads of the book together in a profound and illuminating coda on “the burial of the dead”. / Lewis rightly pin-points the 1870s as the apex of popular religious revival, with a real crisis of religious faith only biting in the early twentieth century, and then almost exclusively among the intellectual class. He gives a nuanced account of reactions to the secularizing trends in European thought, including Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical revitalizations alongside Protestant liberalism and secularist scepticism. He summarizes as follows: “the early twentieth century was a period not of widespread agnosticism and liberalism, but of heightened tension and conflict over the possibilities for a religious life in the modern world”. Both social theory and the modernist novel were expressions of this tension rather than simply the proclamation of a world without God.’ [Cont.]

Perceval Lewis (2)

[p.12; cont.]

 
Perceval Lewis (2)
 
Available at Google Books - online.
 

Transcription: ‘[...] the narrator’s fantasy of the “peasant-girl from Méséglise” [in Proust] like James’s scene in Notre Dame, links a fascinatinon with the sacred to sublimated sexual desire and suggest the role of such desire in artistic creation. / James Joyce emphasises the role of such a James Joyce emphasises the role of such sympathetic fantasy in Ulysses (1922). In the “Lotus-Eaters” episoe of that book, Leopold Bloom pays a visit to All Hallows Church after picking up a letter from Martha Clifford [...] Although he has been baptised three times [...],’ (pp.10-11.) Further: ‘James Joyce makes explicit a set of connections between sexual dynamics [11] and sacred practices that James and Proust only imply: the sacrament of confession in this vision, fulfil the sexual fantasies of women and priests’. (p.11-12.)

Bernice Martin (review of Lewis, Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel, 2011) - cont.: ‘As Walter Benjamin argued, the modernist novel abandons religious narrative forms. Yet the question of religion remains insistent. Lewis draws emblematically on Philip Larkin’s poem “Church Going”, to suggest nostalgia for communal ritual and the wistful search for sacred ground. He trawls the novels for instances not simply of church-going, but for depictions of the uncertain boundaries between sacred and profane, and experiences of sacred power or existential significance that would once have been “religious” but, for the modernist sensibility, become glimpses of ultimate meaning within ordinary life, the “secular sacred”. Lewis draws a compelling parallel between the projects of the social sciences and the modernist novelists. Both groups were composed of atheists or agnostics grappling with the continuing personal and social significance of “something beyond” mundane reality. The social scientists, in attempting to confront it “objectively”, generally ended up treating religion as more or less epiphenomenal. The novelists, unconstrained by positivist canons of “scientific” methodology, groped for nonreligious language in which to describe often equivocal experiences evoking the transcendent or “unseen”. [... &c.]. The reviewer begins by reminding us that for Julia Kristeva - contra the neo-atheists - belief is part of language acquisition (viz., “without this incredible need to believe” we could not acquire language.’ (TLS, p.9.) [Bibl. Religious Experience [... &c.] is available at Google Books - online. See also review by Emer Nolan in Politico.ie at Yale Dspace - online.]

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Colm Tóibín on Joyce’s Dublin: city of dreamers and chancers’, in The Guardian (15 June 2012): ‘[...] That idea of shabby, solitary and secretive lives – men moving alone, their lives half fuelled by alcohol, men trapped in their work, living in a mean boarding house, or in bare rooms, men with some education but scant hope – makes its way into the core of the stories at the centre of Dubliners – “Two Gallants”, “The Boarding House”, “A Little Cloud”, “Counterparts”, “A Painful Case” and “Grace”. / What is strange is that most of the pubs where the characters in Dubliners drank are in place to this day – O’Neill’s in Suffolk Street, Davy Byrne’s in Duke Street, the Oval in Middle Abbey Street, Mulligan’s in Poolbeg Street. In the 1970s, even the Scotch House was still there. And it is clear, or reasonably clear, that the pub whose stairs Mr Kernan fell down was Kehoe’s in South Anne Street, where the men’s lavatory in the basement is still down a set of steep steps. / As he drew these men, offered them little comfort and tiny moments of possibility, Joyce was concerned not with some dark vision he had of mankind and our fate in the world but rather with the individual self he named and made in all its particularity and privacy. The self’s deep preoccupations, the isolation of the individual consciousness, which keeps so much concealed, were what he wished to dramatise. The self ready to feel fear or remorse, contempt or disloyalty, bravery or timidity; the self in a cage of solitude or in the grip of grim lust; the self ready to notice everything except that there was no escape from the self, or indeed from the dilapidated city; these were his subjects. ’ [Note: The article is apparently a copy of the Introduction to a new edition of Dubliners from the publisher Cannongate (issued 7th June 2012).]

Cont.: ‘In Dubliners, Joyce did not allow his stories of adult experience to be tempered with stories of childhood innocence. The early stories of childhood and youth had a more menacing edge than some of the stories of adulthood. Indeed, the child narrator of the very first story seemed in possession of a darker knowledge than anyone else in the book. In “An Encounter”, the narrator, also a schoolboy, takes in the disturbed sexuality of the man he meets with a sort of openness and ease. (The story, according to Stanislaus Joyce, was based on a real encounter that the young Joyce had.) In “Araby”, a young boy’s obsessive love for a young girl is fully sexualised, made more real and dramatic than any other attachment in the book. [Here Tóibín quotes letter to Richards of May 1906: “My intention was to write a chapter of the moral history of my country [...] he has seen and heard.” [...] Joyce’s claim to write “a chapter of the moral history of his country” was grandiose; the stories themselves evaded such easy description. In them, Joyce’s Dublin is a village filled with dreamers and chancers whom he placed in a kind of cage. In “Two Gallants” and “Eveline”, there is a strange, almost disturbed watchfulness as the characters dream of escape from the cage of family, or work. In “After the Race” there is an empty hysteria in Doyle’s attempt to keep up with his more sophisticated foreign friends. In many of the stories, the characters are watching, watchful, uneasy. Their desires seem imposed on them, and make them almost feral in their hunting, darting, insecure gestures. Joyce did not judge them, but was utterly alert to their weaknesses and their failures and was concerned to do them justice, whatever vanity or vain hope impelled them.’ (See full-text version under Tóibín, as infra.)

Further (Toibin on Joyce’s Dubliners, in the Guardian 15 May 2012): ‘The city of fiction was the city just over a decade after the fall of Parnell. In Joyce’s writing, the figure of Charles Stewart Parnell, the lost leader hounded from power, remains pure, beyond reproach or mockery. Parnell had offered not only a political hope, but also a kind of mysterious, spiritual hope, all the more so in the afterglow of his power. Thus the story “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” is an essential part of the story-sequence; it dramatises the empty shell of the society after the leader’s death, the citizens confined to spouting cliché and searching for drink and mawkish companionship. The sense of banality and inconsequence in every line of dialogue and in every character suggests that the glory has departed, that the light has been turned out and the characters left groping in a strange limbo. / This limbo is haunted by the noble shadow of a lost leader, but it is also infested with a strange vision of Irish nationalism, as something which people espoused to make money or help their careers. In “Araby”, as part of the shrill street scene, the street-singers sing about O’Donovan Rossa, who favoured a violent nationalism.’ (Available online; accessed 16.06.2012.)

[Note that Tóibín disputes the political reading which sees the Dubliners collection as ‘a set of carefully designed parallels between conqueror and conquered, between imperial oppressor and colonised victim’ in critics Vincent J. Cheng or Michael Leverson as ‘simple-minded’ in the face of the actual detail of the stories; ibid. as infra.]

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Colm Tóibín, “Walking with the Dead”, on BBC Radio 4, [Sun.] 2 Feb. 2014, presented by Tóibín and produced by Emma Harding, with extracts from the stories by Stephen Rea. Tóibín, as presenter, talks with John Banville, Anne Enright, Terence Brown (TCD), Anne Fogarty (UCD/James Joyce Inst.) and others about the setting of the Dubliners stories and their originality and impact, himself remarking apropos Joyce’s coinage “scrupulous meanness” in the well-known letter to his publisher [Grant Richards] of 1906:

‘I think we have to be very very careful when we read this letter and see it as a really interesting example of a writer overreaching himself in his description of a book. Yes, he is right about the style of “scrupulous meanness” but I think you could overemphasis the idea of paralysis in the stories although there is paralysis in some of the stories in others its not such an important theme and I think “the moral history of my country” is a grandiose term. I think the book is oddly more modest and in fact more interesting than that.’

Further: ‘This [is a ] book by this young man in his early twenties taking the full tradition of realist fiction and trying to work something new into it, so that it had a poetic force, so that it captured a city at a certain time and then seemed to reach out from that in levels of suggestiveness which have meant in Ezra Pound’s definition that literature is news that stays that stays news - the stories to this day a hundred years after they were written have a freshness and a strangeness which makes them still matter still seem new

[Copy-typed by BS from BBC iPlayer recording - online; accessed 05.02.2014]. Note that one of the speakers is Brendan Kilty, the Dublin barrister and property developer who purchased and refurbished the house at 15, Usher’s Island where “The Dead” is set, having come upon it on Bloomsday in 1979. The house was built 1800 or 1805. Tóibín purports to be particularly moved by “Clay”, which concerns a woman from a “rescue mission” who is made the butt of a cruel joke by children in the house where she was at one time exploited as a child-minder. Other stories discussed in their settings are “An Encounter”, “The Boarding House”, and “Grace”.]

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John McCourt, James Joyce: A Passionate Exile (London: Orion Media 2000): writes that Joyce was fascinated by the Babel of languages he heard in the streets, an experience which informed his work in ‘when writing his own encyclopedia of world culture in Finnegans Wake, Joyce would create an international portmanteau language, rooted in English but brimming with different traditions, in which few individual words could be safely reduced to one single, authoritative meaning. In this respect, the language of Finnegans Wake is like an exaggerated, exploded version of Triestino, that rich, composite dialect which Joyce listened to with rapt attention and learned to speak brilliantly.’ (See Jason Cowley, ‘Trieste: In the Wake of James Joyce’, in The Independent, 25 June 2000) - available on Jason Cowley Webpage - online.)

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Clare Hutton, ‘The Irish Revival’, in Joyce in Context, ed. John McCourt (Cambridge UP 2009) [remarks on “I hear an army charging upon the land’ - quoted here in full]: ‘The whole compass of the poem - the vision of an army of charioteers charging upon a shore and troubling the “gloom” of the speaker’s dream - echo the thematic mood, diction and metres of The Wind Among the Reeds [by W. B. Yeats], especially such a poem as “The Vally of the Black Pig” which has a speaker who is “weary of the world’s empires” dreaming of unknown “spears”, “perishing armies” and the “clash of fallen horsemen”. In some respects the poem proves that Yeats - the most important writer of the Irish literary Revival - did have something to offer Joyce in earnest, in terms of [202] demonstrating poetic technique, revealing potentional subject matter and showing him paths which he was better served not to take. It would be convenient for literary history to forget that Joyce ever wrote a text such as this because it reveals the anxietey of influence so obviously. But history is rarely straightforward, and one reason why the history of Joyce’s engagement with revivalism is so complex is due to the fact that he held conflicting views contemporaneously. Though he condemned the Irish Literary Theatre as “the property of the rabblement of the most belated race in Europe” (OPCW, 50), he would like to have had occasionally the opportunity to attend. Though he could be abundantly cynical about the “Celtic note”, he was not above writing poems, such as the one cited, which sounded exactly that note. Fineally, though he could chide Yeats for his “treacherous instinct of adaptability’ (OPCW, 51), it is obvious that careful study of Yeats’ evolution enabled him to develop and refine his own aesthetic vision.’ (pp.202-03; available online.)

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Gordon Bowker, James Joyce: A Biography (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2011) - on epiphanies: ‘[...] in his fourteenth year, he began a set of sketches called Silhouettes, the title story based on the shadow-play of figures behind drawn blinds observed one night strolling the city streets [Stanislaus Joyce, My Brother’s Keeper, p.90]. But his creative impulse also had another focus. The inspiration of Byron, Ferguson and Yeats led him to continue what he had begun with “Et Tu Healy” and produce a series of poems entitled Moods. These early efforts did not survive, except fleetingly in the memory of his brother, though a few we to be found in what he called Epiphanies [MBK, pp.124-25], 30 copied down carefully on green ovals of leaves. / This notion of epiphany has a classical and religious origin and significance (offering in Greek drama to the climactic moment and in Christianity to the moment of Christ’s manifestation). Wordsworth, De Quincey and the great Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins embodied epiphanies in poetry as did his Italian hero, Galbriele D’Annunzio. Joyce’s revelations are not, like those of Hopkins, revelations of the divine mysteries, but of our somewhat less divine human natures. Much of his writing afforded glimpses of his own hidden life and so is as much confessional as revealing. This drawing on epiphanies from his own life, using himself as a guinea-pig as he so often did, Stanislaus called “a peculiar form of self-exploitation for artistic purposes” [MBK, p.21.] But observation also afforded him glimpses into the souls of others, giving him the sense that behind respectable appearances there often lie sordid, even debased realities. Such moments of insight formed the basis of his short stories in Dubliners, as well as many scenes and incidents which make up his novels.” (Bowker references & pp.124-35.) [Cont.]

Gordon Bowker (James Joyce: A Biography, 2011) - cont. ‘It would be a famous encounter. Joyce, the young man, knockig at the door of the man he saw as presently wearing the crown of Irish poetry; the older man not quite knowing what to make of the brash. They repaired ot a smoking-room of a Sackville street restaurant where Joyce soon displayed his critical panache. If he was rude and arrogant to Yeats, it was perfectly consistent with his behaviour towards Father Darlington and towards Stanislaus who suffered his slights continually. All were regarded as whetstone on which to sharpen his wits. / The two men were from different backgrounds with different interests — Yeats a child of the Protestant Ascendancy, fascinated by aristocracy and peasant superstition, Joyce from the Catholic lower middle class, intrigued by the Dublin demi-monde; Yeats embracing the beauty of nature, Joyce drawn by the ugliness of the city; Yeats seeing in Homer the true expression of high art, Joyce preferring Dante and the journey to Hell and back. They were of two different kinds of creative intelligence – Yeats’s originality moulded by considerations of poetic form; Joyce’s wanting always ot spill into shapes beyond the formal. Yeats was also committed to cultural nationalism which Joyce thought a betrayal of poetic genius.’ (pp.88-89).

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Antonio Carlos de Araujo Cintra, O Lusobrasileirês No Finneganês: Un Vocabulário da língua portuguesa no Finnegans Wake, [introduced by] Haroldo de Campos (São Paolo: Editora Olavobás 2003): ‘Joyce [...] used foreign words in Finnegans Wake in a scale probably not equaled by any other author. When Finnegans Wake was still in elaboration, appearing in fragments in the review transition of Eugene Jolas, Stuart Gilbert wrote that Joyce’s vocabulary is “world-wide - Work in Progress may well be easier reading for the polyglot foreigner than for an Englishman with but his mother tongue.” (Gilbert, ‘Prolegomena to Finnegans Wake’, in Exagmination, 1927, p.49 seq. & 58.) / It seems appropriate, in the matter, to quote Hegel’s observation that quantitative increases end up in qualitative changes. [Hegel, Der Wissenschaft de Logic, §108: ‘ist die Verderung des Quantums auch eine Veranderung de Qualität’; p.226.] Joyce’s use of froeign languages looses or weakens the restrict purpose referred to by Aristotle and appears, in a historical perspective, as representation of the “confusio linguarum of Babel” [Gen. 11, 1-9] - a “panorama of all flores of speech” (143.3; & ref. to Louis O. Mink, a Finnegans Wake Gazetteer [1978], pp.217-18, for allusion to Babel in FW). It seems to be a concrete and tangible way of presenting something behind the idea of HCE or Here Comes Everybody. / In this connection, we should recall that in his visist to Harriet Shaw Weaver in 1922, Joyce told her that next to Ulysses he thought to write a “history of the world” [Ellmann, JJ, pp.536-37], where of course an immense quantity of nations has coexisted and [39] and still coexists with a corresponding variety of languages and dialects dead or alive.’ (pp.39-40.)

Note: Carlos goes on to quote Gerard de Nerval: ‘pendant longtemps je m’appliquai à répresenter, par mille figures accompagnées de récits, de vers et d’inscriptions en toutes les languages connus, une sorte d’histoire du monde même de souvenirs d’études et de fragments de songes que ma préoccupation rendait plus sensible ou que en prolongeaint la durée.’ (“Le rêve et la vie”, in Aurelia, p.70.) He also alludes to Claude Jacquet’s La langue de Rabelais as the ‘seminal work’ and cites Joyce’s acquaintance with some chapters of it - though not apparently with Rabelais, though he held copies of that author’s works in his library (vide, Thomas Connolly, James Joyce’s Books, Portraits, Manuscripts, Notebooks, Typescripts, Page Proofs, p.51.) Is it a mere coincidence, Carlos asks - noting that Joyce read Arthur Symons the Symbolist Movement when young and that Symon’s book make numerous allusions to Aurelia in its first chapter. (p.40.) He also quotes Victor Lluna’s remark that Joyce had more than a working knowledge of Portuguese (Exagmination, p.99; here p.41) and cites the Portuguese word-lists in the Notebooks VI.B.10 and VI.B.46 composed between 1922 and 1938 including notably an ֥important fairly long” list in VI.B.46 - according to M. J. C. Hodgart in Wake Newsletter, ns. I, 1, pp.1-2 - dating from early Dec. 1937-Feb 1938, according to Danis Rose (The Index Manuscript; Finnegans Wake Holograph Workbook VI.B.46, p.34.) He also remarks that words and expressions in Portuguese to be found in Notebook VI.B.24 contains words taken from the articles on Lisboa and Rio de Janeiro in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, vols. XVI & XXII, 11th Edn. (1911) [here p.43-44.] Those from the article on Rio are listed in Notebook VI.B.29 [here p.45]. Carlos discusses in some depth Joyce’s use of English as She is Spoke, or a Jest in Sober Earnest, the phrase-book published by Andrew Tuer in 1883 - considered unconsciously comical by many readers - which begins with a ‘Portuguese and English vocabulary’, and which Joyce apparently acquired from Sylvia Beech who in turn received it from Jean Schlumberger, according to a note slipped in to the Harvard copy on a Shakespeare and Company office slip (here p.46). Carlos admits to being unable to determine any definite connection between the vocabulary in the phrase-book and the contents of Joyce’s corresponding Portuguese lists in VI.B.46 and in the incidence of Portuguese Wake - if only because many of the words found in both are perfectly commonplace. (English as She is Spoke, which fathers the phrase Storiella as she is syung in Finnegans Wake, was reprinted by Gale Research in 1967.) Carlo wrote his book in English and prefixed the Portuguese translation after [pp.9-30].

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Frank Shovlin, Journey Westward: Joyce, “Dubliners” and the Literary Revival (Cambridge UP 2012) - “Yeats and Joyce” (Chap. at p.125ff.): ‘More interesting from the point of view of unlocking the coded last paragraph of “The Dead” is the location of the narrator at this point [here “The Death of Hanrahan”; presum. in “Rosa Alchemica”]: the temple of the Alchemical Rose. He has been transported there by Michael Robartes as he describes in the following passage: “I fell at last into a feverish sleep ... we were approaching the western coast.” (“Rosa Alchemica”, in Yeats, Mythologies, Macmillan 1959, p.309; Shovlin, p.130.) [...] / This description is another possible forerunner of Gabriel Conroy’s ambiguous journey westward, which he realizes it is time to take at the conclusion of “the Dead.” Earlier in that story Gabriel had been dismissive of an invitation to travel west to the Aran Islands with Miss Ivor and her Gaelic revivalist friends, thus alienating both her and his Galway-born wife Gretta. / Several critics have read Gabriel’s imagined journey westward as a softening of attitude on Joyce’s part towards his native country generally and revivalism specifically. Certainly, Joyce’s great enthusiasm for “The Adoration of the Magi” does not suggest someone who is antipathetic to the Revival’s mythologising of the west. The Magi of that story are described as “three old men [who] were three brothers [...] and had cared all their lives for nothing except for those classical writers and old Gaelic writers who expounded an heroic and simple life.” [Mythologies, 309.] It is as clear-cut a [130] picture of Yeats’s ideal Irishman as one could get, and very difference indeed to the frightening old western man visited by Mulrennan towards the end of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. [Quotes ‘John Alphonsus Mulrennan ... &c.’; AP, 251-52.] In this instance the old man represents the idealized and constricting Irish Ireland from which Stephen Dedalus is so desperate to escape. But Stephen Dedalus is not quite James Joyce, and Joyce’s attitude towards the west is, as this study has repeatedly suggested, considerably more ambigous than many critics have allowed. We would do well to note how Stephen closes his diary entry on Mulrennan’s ancient westerner: “I mean him no harm.” (p.252.) / Rather than fighting with the old man of the west, Richard Ellmann suggests that the young Joyce had a somewhat different adversary [i.e., Yeats; ....] (pp.130-31.)

Trieste Library: Shovlin notes that Joyce’s Trieste library is held at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Texas and that the books are free from marginalia and in pristine condition. (p.122.) In the preface he reveals that he made a research trip there in 2012 funded by the Cora Maud Oneal Research Fellowship. (Pref., p.viii. Note that Shovlin erroneously states the bibliographical details relating to Yeats’s three mystical stories - viz.: ‘“Rosa Alchemica” ought to be considered part of a triumvitate with the “Tables of the Law” and “the Adoration of the Magi” and was packaged as such in the original 1897 volume [sic] only to be stripped away in 1904 and then reinstated in the posthumously published anthology of Yeats’s short prose pieces, Mythologies.’ (p.130n.) This is an error since the three stories were never printed together prior to the Shakespeare Head edition of Yeats Collected Works when they appeared together in Vol. 7 along with John Sherman and Dhoya. He then correctly cites pp.279 and 283 in Mythologies with reference to “Adoration of the Magi” (Shovlin, op. cit., p.130, n.18; available online.)

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Enrico Terrinoni, ‘One of Many Plots: Joyce in Some Dublin Libraries’, in Joyce Studies in Italy, ed. John McCourt (Edizioni Roma 2015), pp.213-26; He may have gone there following a tip from Yeats (Letters, II, 104) and the two writers may have talked about Yeats’s esoteric short stories, “The Tables of the Law” and “The Adoration of the Magi” which Joyce claimed to know by heart. These stories, among other things, mention a book of prophecies by Joachim of Flora, the Italian hermit much-loved by many of those semi-hermetic Franciscans of whom Joyce was fond at the time. On the occasion of their meeting, Yeats might have told Joyce that Marshe's library stocked books of prophecies by Joacquim Abbas, because after a few days Joyce actually paid to consecutive visits to this beautiful library’ [cites U.3.106-8]. [Available by password at Academia.edu.]

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